Friday, December 21, 2012

Six on Friday

We have six this week because my precious nephew is spending a few days with us while his dad (my brother) hunts with my other nephew. 
1.   The bathroom is ALMOST finished!!  We lack the sink top, the mirror over the vanity and the faucet.  We've had to wait three days before we could fire up the shower.  Today is its maiden voyage.  We are pretty excited about it.  (Once all the components are in place I'll try to post pictures.)
2.  Fred and I had a date night scheduled last night.  The sitter was on her way, plans were made and then...Jack got sick. Bummer for everyone:  us, Jack and the sitter. :-(  We have a 9:15 doctor's appointment.  It must be the holidays! 
3.  Clayton got to go with his good buddy to Nashville to see ICE at Opryland Hotel.  He also got to spend about 2 hours in the Lego Store at Opry Mills.  I'm pretty sure it was 2 of the best hours of his life.  (Thanks to our friend for these awesome pictures!!)

4.  After picking up my nephew we went to lunch with Mimi at Logan's.  The bigger boys split a chicken finger plate.  I asked A how many chicken fingers he would eat.  He answered back with a confident 5.  The picture below is all he ate.  The big fella over his left shoulder could not have been more pleased with this lunch.  All is working well for Jack!
5.  This is as close as we've gotten to Santa this year.  The only reason he got this close was to get the present that's in his hand.  I think he looks thrilled, don't you?!?  Andrew is very concerned about Santa coming to his house.
6.  My nephew has been staying with us this week for a few days.  Have you ever seen the book series, Fred and Ted?  That is what my nephew and Jack look like.  They have had a blast together!  I made donuts for them the first morning and everyone was elated!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  The bathroom renovation, turned remodel, turned bigger than we planned, is going along great!  Tile is in.  Paint is on the walls.  If everything continues to move on schedule we should be in it by Christmas! 
2. I have been dreaming of this moment for a long time.  Pretty much since I heard the words, "It's a boy."  I pulled in the driveway, turned off the car and opened the back hatch of the car.  I went inside and said, "Boys, there are groceries in the car.  Get to it!"  In about 2.5 minutes they were all inside.  Now just to work with them on unloading. :-)

3.  The Hobbit is coming out as a movie.  Clayton saw the preview and was very interested.  We told him if he read the book he could go to the movie.  I put it on his Kindle, but he hasn't really seemed interested...until his friend invited him to his birthday party.  Guess what they're going to see?!?  Yes, The Hobbit.  Clayton read that entire book in a little under a week.  He even got so excited about book that he stayed up past his bedtime to finish it. 
4.  Jack has been under stress because of a "bossy girl" in his class.  He does not like bossy girls.  I tried to explain to him that this was just a defect of our kind, but he still wasn't too thrilled.  I don't know her name, I just politely and respectfully refer to her as "bossy girl".  This week I asked Jack how things were going with "bossy girl".  He replied, "Great!  She lost her voice." 
5.  Andrew does not like Santa Claus.  Someone asked him this week if Santa was coming to his house.  He looked over at me with great fear and shook his head no.  I don't think he gets it. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

1.  I try really hard, but when someone falls (unless they are elderly or seriously injured) I can't help but laugh.  Even my own children.  It's bad.  Fred came in from a run this week with his hand and knee covered in blood.  He had fallen in the same spot that he fell a few weeks ago.  I should be sympathetic, right?  No, I laughed.  Still at this moment I am snickering at the thought of 6 feet 5 inches of man sailing through the air.  Andrew laughs when someone falls, so it must be genetic.  Right?!? 
2.  Helen used to sing when she was working around the house.  While the boys and I were at her "hotel" for Christmas they had a DJ in the dining room.  He started playing Frank Sinatra's New York, New York.  She immediately recognized it and started singing.  I briefly closed my eyes.  Listening to her sing transported me back to when she was at home fluttering around the house cleaning and singing.  Precious memories. 
3.  One morning this week I asked Jack repeatedly to get ready for school.  He was in the back.  I finally asked him what he was doing.  Clayton was at the table and said, "He's in the back looking for a relic from my kindergarten year."  What??  A relic?!?  Sure enough Jack came out of the back with a "relic" from Clayton's kindergarten year. 
4.  Jack has asked several times why we don't hang lights at our house.  While he's at school today Fred is buying lights to hang on our house for him.  I can't wait to see his face!!  Move over Clark Griswold!
5.  Last week at Dairy Delight I asked Andrew where he wanted to sit...meaning location in the restaurant.  He looked up at me and said, "By you."  Be still my heart. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lots of updates!!!

Upon looking at the pictures on my phone I realized I am quite behind on my updates.  This may get lengthy, but here goes...
Fred and Renee sent me home with all the leftovers from Thanksgiving.  I took this as a challenge to use them all and not waste anything.  Here are a few of the meals we had:
On the left is creamed turkey over corn pudding with green beans and strawberry salad.  Creamed turkey is kind of like chicken and dumplins without the dumplins.  It is traditionally served over cornbread, but since I had leftover corn pudding I served it over that instead.  Yum!  
The photo in the middle is Turkey and Wild Rice soup, again delicious.  
The far right is leftover pork tenderloin with egg and cheese on a roll.  We ate this for breakfast.  My only regret is that we did not have 2 for each person.  
I made a pot of corn chowder as well, but failed to get a picture.  We also had a meal of straight leftovers and then I froze what was left at that point.  We will have Thanksgiving meal again this week.
What fun for me!  It was truly the gift that just kept on giving!!

 Our bathroom is still underway.  Thankfully, reinforcements came today in the form of Chris Martin Construction.  The picture on the right is the progress they made this morning.  The photo on the left is leftover wallpaper from when we moved in.  When I saw it it made me wonder why we ever painted the bathroom in the beginning...ha...just kidding.  Is that not hideous?!?  But yet, strangely in style?!? 

 Saturday we ran 13.1 miles for St. Jude.  This is our 4th year to run and it is always a joy!  As long as my legs and knees hold up I hope to run for St. Jude in Memphis at the beginning of December.  At least that's what I'm saying today.  Saturday round about mile 9 I was really questioning my sanity.  I relate it to childbirth.  I promise myself I'm not going to do it next year, but by Tuesday, I've forgotten all those promises and I'm left with a feeling of satisfaction.  I got a picture of me and Fred before and after the race.  It was the perfect day for a run through Memphis.

 Last but not favorite part of running long distances...carb loading!!  Yes, I dream about this day.  My running partner and I split the box below (well, and we shared with our family a little as well).  It is from Muddy's Bake Shop (highly recommend!!).  Yes, you are seeing 3 cupcakes, a piece of cake, a macaroon and a piece of toffee.  Worth every bit of training!!  I also had a burger on 2 pieces of thick white bread with a side of macaroni and cheese.  All for the race, of course. hehe!!  My friend told me for someone my size I sure do know where good food is.  My philosophy on food is that food is fuel and if you are going to fuel up, make it good.  I'll see you next year, Muddy's Bake Shop!!

Just a funny story from the race.  It was hot and once you run a half marathon you are pretty yucky.  My friend and I got a tip on some "nice" showers at Auto Zone park.  She even came manned with a towel.  We found these nice showers, walked in and then...noticed they were community showers.  Community showers.  As in, a cinder block room with 7 shower head sticking out of the wall.  Not my definition of "nice".  I looked at my friend and said, "I'm out."  Not doing it.  She laughed and we both left that locker room as stinky as we entered!  Ha!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Our bathroom has needed some attention for a while.  But alas, Fred was busy in 2012 being pastor, dad, president of TBC, husband, etc.  We contacted our insurance company about possibly helping us out, but they were a no we just dug in.  We began our project by busting out walls, removing the shower, the floor and the potty.  Much to our suprise the water damage was not what we thought.  Long story short, our insurance company has been contacted and they will be helping afterall.  Currectly, you can see dirt when you open the door of our bathroom and our potty is on our back porch.  Classic.
2.  St. Jude Half Marathon is next weekend.  I think we are ready.  Running the half marathon for St. Jude is one time a year where my hobby collides with a good cause.  I love it when a plan comes together!!
3.  Clayton spent his special weekend with Janice last weekend.  Monday morning at breakfast I served cinnamon rolls.  Clayton asked for a specific (probably the middle) cinnamon roll.  Jack piped up quickly by saying, "Oh no!  You are not at Aunt Janice's house anymore!"  I don't know wheter to laugh or be offended.  I'll choose laugh.   
4.  Tuesday afternoon around 1:00 p.m. I got a message from Jack's teacher saying his stomach was bothering him.  When he got in the car I inquired about it and he still seemed a little bothered.  Figuring he'd be okay, we went about our normal activities.  About the time I was preparing dessert and cranberry salad for the 17 people coming to our house on Thursday I heard it.  Yes, Jack was sick at his stomach.  While no one was able to come to our house we did end up getting to go to Jackson and Memphis.  After a second round of sickness by Jack everyone seems to be better.   Fingers crossed. 
5.  Andrew has not yet sensed the tone when someone is sick in this house....especially with all things stomach related.  I washed my hands so many times they were squeaky clean.  I lysoled any and ever surface possible.  After several hours of trying my best to keep all germs away from everyone I looked over and Andrew was chugging Jack's water bottle.  Oh.dear. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Tennessee Baptist Convention was this week.  Fred did a great job leading this week and even throughout the last year.  It was a pretty emotional experience (for me anyway).  I wanted to take more pictures, but thought it to not be appropriate...And potentially embarrassing to Fred.  Here is the only picture I have...
 Doesn't he look nice in his suit...and on the larger than life screen?!?
2.  I have done a lot of reflecting this week as this year of service has come to a close.  We couldn't have done this year without the help and support of our friends and family.  I really don't think we would have made it.  Before we went in Wednesday morning (I was singing with our group from church and Fred was preaching.) we paused in the car to offer our praise to God for all He's done this year.  I led us.  Of course, I did not get one word out before my tears were flowing.  When I finished up my prayer Fred gave me a hug and told me thanks.  You know, we had a moment.  Then he looked at me with all sincerity and said, "You aren't speaking today, are you?  I mean, you're just singing in a group, right?"  Yes, I know.  I would have embarrassed both of us had I tried to talk.  Does he know me or what?!?
3.  Clayton had a Veteran's Day program last week.  His picture was in our local paper. To see his picture, click here.
4.  Jack got to have a Aunt Janice's house.  He had a blast doing all things Jack.  They went bowling, shopping, to Chuck E. Cheese, Jump Zone and they ate whatever he know, things like salad, whole wheat bread and fresh fruits and veggies...not.  What a weekend! 
5. Andrew does not have a handle on time.  I typically don't tell him things in advance because he wants to do it RIGHT NOW.  Below is a picture of him on the floor whining because he wanted to go to someone's house.  (The big boys let it slip that we were going for dinner...ugh.)  This picture does not give you the full effect though.  You have to imagine incessant whining and flailing about to get the full picture.  While there are MANY things I LOVE about this three year old, this phase is not my favorite.  It will pass though...hopefully sooner rather than later! ;-)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  The countdown has begun for the Tennessee Baptist Convention.  T minus two and a half weeks and counting.  It really has been the best year! 
2.  Fred's sister, Liz, took pictures for us over fall break.  They were all great.  She included a few funny ones.  Here's a behind the scenes peek at a photo session for the Shackelfords.

3. Clayton helped in the yard this week.  When I say "helped" I don't mean he helped, but was really in the way.  I mean he helped.  It was glorious and everything I dreamed it would be.  By my calculations I will have a boy to help with the yard for the next 15 years.  Yahoo!
4.  Jack has been studying his spelling words intently each week.  For the last two weeks we have had him take a practice test on Thursday night.  Last week he slept with his list under his pillow...precious.  This week he made a 100 on his first practice test.  Yeah, Jack! 
5.  Andrew is 3 today!  (More to come on that later.)  Lately, he has been asserting his independence   through dressing himself.  Below was his wardrobe choice for the day.  Please note that it was 80 degrees outside and he chose shorts, a flannel shirt and boots (without socks).  Classic.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  When we got married Fred was not, how shall I put this...handy.  Wow, what a difference 12 years can make.  Just tonight he changed out a ceiling fan and another light fixture.  He changes the oil in our car and does most of the maintenance to our cars as well.  I am almost convinced there is nothing he cannot do. 
2.  I don't think it's a secret, but just in case you don't know, I am extremely cheap.  Our cable bill is constantly being down graded.  Well, this week I did it.  It took two days for me to make up my mind, but I upgraded to a new package.  Welcome back HGTV, TLC and ESPN.  I have missed you.  
3.  Clayton asked me this week if I would snuggle up with him and watch tv (before the cable upgrade!).  I tried to remain cool, but he may have heard a crack in my voice when I replied, "Yes, I'd love to!"  Some times I wonder how much longer I'll get asked these questions.  I don't think I really want to know. 
4.  Jack rarely complains.  For the last week he has mentioned that his foot is hurting.  Somehow he hurt it while he and a couple of friends were  tackling playing football together.  After several trips to Mrs. Cindy, the school nurse, I decided it was time to have it checked out.  Nothing was wrong with it...thank goodness.  I think I know the problem.  Jack just likes hanging with Mrs. Cindy.
5.  Andrew has a birthday coming up.  Aunt Janice asked him what he would like for his birthday.  His reply..."An awesome toy."  That is the only response we get from him.  Needless to say, several people are on the hunt for "an awesome toy." 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Break

Fall Break started Wednesday evening as we headed to Jackson after church.  Normally I teach on Tuesdays in Jackson, but my boss asked me if I could fill in for someone on Thursdays and I was happy to oblige.  After working I came home in time for lunch.  Since it was the day after my birthday my mother had a cake.  Not just a cake, mind you...a sugary, buttery, cakey, heavenly confection from Shirley's Bakery. (a.k.a. the best bakery on the planet!!) 

As I wiped the cake off my face, Clayton and I headed out the door to my childhood dentist.  Our dentist in Paris noticed a few problems so we wanted to get a second opinion.  We won't talk about the results, but suffice it to say that every possible dental problem he could have gotten from both sides of the family manifested itself inside his mouth.  Oh.dear.  The dentist office did speak Clayton's love's in the ceiling on the channel of his choosing?!?...ah, yes please.  I told him we had come to the big city and this is what you get.  I even signed in using an I Pad.  Up town, people, up town!!

After pulling myself off the floor from that appointment we headed to Memphis for my birthday dinner with Fred.  Through a series of events we actually got to go with Fred's sister and her husband.  In all our years together, we have never been out with just Zach and Liz.  Crazy, right?!?  It may have been the first time, but it certainly won't be the last!!  We dined at The Elegant Farmer (click here to view) and then hit up a Mexican ice cream shop.  I found these places on a blog through pinterest.  If I lived in Memphis I would systematically work my way through this list.  I might just do it even though I don't live there.  Click here for the blog.

Friday morning we took family pictures.  It was the highlight of the boys trip.  Not really.  We loaded up after that and headed to the zoo in Memphis.  The elephants were especially loud.  Andrew was not impressed.  Of all my times to go to the zoo I have never stayed for a "show".  We actually got to see one on sea lions.  I'm telling you October is the time to go to the zoo.  Yes it is.  Fred and I may or may not have made a vow to one another to NEVER go to the zoo again during the summer again!

Of course, after such an exhausting trip to the zoo we hit Jerry's Snow Cone's in Memphis.  I would highly recommend the wedding cake snow cone with ice cream.  It was delicious.  Andrew and Zachary enjoyed sharing Clayton's snow cone.

The final day we just piddled around and ended up at the coolest park ever at Shelby Farms.  Good times!  Only one more year till fall break.  I'm counting down the days!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Fred and I had the opportunity to go to Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee this week.  He spoke at chapel Tuesday morning.  It was a quick trip, but we had the best time.  The president and staff of Carson Newman could not have been more welcoming.  I wasn't going to go with him, but a wise person in my family reminded me that Fred's tenure as president of TBC is drawing to a close.  On her advice, I jumped at the chance to go and I'm so grateful I did.  Thanks to my mom for corralling the boys while we were away. 
2.  I mentioned several weeks ago that I got some of my grandmother's furniture.  Well this week, I finally "settled" the dining room.  It really is my favorite room now...full of memories.  (I still have a few finishing touches to add to the room, but for the most part it is complete.  I'll just have to go to a "big city" to get them.)


3. Clayton has a Kindle Fire.  He loves playing Words with Friends on it.  The other night Fred and I were tucked in bed (at 9:30...I know, we are old!!) and his phone indicated he had a message.  It was Clayton across the house making his move on Words.  Too funny!
4.  While at Carson Newman I may or may not have committed Jack to play football for Coach Sparks.  Grin.  Click here to see more of the college.
5. When Andrew and my mom picked up the boys at swim practice she let all the boys pick something out of the machine. (I never do this!!)  Andrew picked out Twinkies.  I think it was his first time to eat a Twinkie.  I think he was/is a fan.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  The day has finally arrived for Fred.  After researching, studying and pricing bikes, he finally purchased one.  I mean, seriously, who knew buying a bike could be so stressful?!?  As a kid when I went to Walmart to buy a bike I just looked at the color and the streamers.  I never gave a thought to what the frame was made of or what kind of pedals it had.  Seriously.  I am pleased to announce that Fred is the proud owner of a 2009 carbon framed Cannondale.  It is red, but has no streamers.
2.  My grandmother is still living in the "hotel" in Nashville.  Because of a recent turn of events we needed to get furniture from her house.  My dad and I headed to Franklin last week to load up a U Haul with her furniture.  As the movers were loading up the truck I stood in the driveway with tears streaming down my face.  Each piece of furniture that came out of her house had a memory attached to it.  Everywhere I turn in my house there is now a piece of my grandparents.  I can't help but I still wipe away an occasional tear or two.  (Once I get the dining room painted I'll post pictures.)
3.  Clayton's hair is way too long.  I have been telling him he needs a hair cut.  He does not want one.  He likes it long.  In an effort to not major on minor things I am letting this go.  Several weeks ago we were getting in the car after church.  Out of the blue Clayton said, "Morgan (a girl) likes my hair long."  I hear you loud and clear son, loud and clear. 
4.  Jack is a big kid.  At a recent high school football game, unbeknownst to be, he engaged in a game of tackle football with several of Clayton's friends (3 and 4 years older than him).   Once I realized what was going on I saw a kid crying on the ground.  Yes, Jack had tackled and hurt him.  My six year old.  So, we have a new rule at the Shackelford house..."No tackle football unless you and the person you are playing with have on all the proper equipment."  Jack was really bummed
5.  Andrew is 95% potty trained.  Almost there.  I have had a kiddo in diapers for 9 consecutive years.  Nine years.  I cannot believe this phase of life is ending.  To say it's bittersweet would be a huge understatement.     

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Fred has been biking a lot latey.  He tries to ride his bike to work a couple of times a week, being careful not to ride on days where he has important meetings or appointments.  A couple of Fridays ago he rode to work but remembered we had an event downtown on the square.  He just took off on his bike downtown.  As he was riding in to our downtown area he got a couple of strange looks.  After thinking about how he looked (with his backpack on) he decided he either looked like a Jehovah's Witness or a large, bald fifth grader.  Either version makes me smile when I think about it. 
2.  My mother takes me shopping around our birthdays each fall.  It is always a good time!  We shop and hang out for about three days.  (We couldn't do it without Fred and Aunt Janice!!)  This year my dad's sister, Christie, joined us.  We ate at Loveless Cafe, Puckett's Grocery and Merridee's.  It really is a dream come true. 
Here is my mom with one of her finds.  Doesn't she look pretty?!?

Here is my supper from Loveless Cafe.  I know.  There are a lot of carbs on that plate.  I initially ordered a fresh fruit cup instead of caramel sweet potatoes, but I changed it at the last second.  You only live once, right?!?  Speaking of living once...we shared banana pudding and peanut butter pie.  Oh, how I l.o.v.e. dessert!!  Yum.  I did go work out in the gym one day.  Yes, that negates all those calories.  Yes it does!

3.  Clayton came in the house the other day and this was our conversation:
C:  Mom, did you know that when someone says something went down the wrong way they were being literal?
Me:  Yes, I have known that.
C:  I have thought all these years it was an idiom, but they are seriously being literal. 
Me:  Yep.  (After I spoke I made a mental note to go look up the meaning of idiom.) 
Oh, that boy!
4.  Jack had Christmas in September last week.  Mun gave him a panini maker.  Oh, the joys for Jack from a panini maker!  He got it while I was away and he was so excited he couldn't even tell me over the phone.  As soon as he got home with it he unwrapped it, placed it on the counter and pronounced he was hungry for a panini.  Since it was after supper I decided we better not.  Not to be forgotten though, he woke up Sunday morning and proclaimed he was hungry.  Guess what he thought would be the prefect breakfast?!?  A panini.  That kiddo grinned from ear to ear!
 5.  Andrew hears the big boys talk about time a lot.  So now when I tell him it's time to take a nap he says, "No, it not 8-4-3."  What is 8-4-3?!?  I don't have a clue, but I've started using it for my benefit.  Now I say, "Andrew it's 8-4-3.  It's time to go to bed."  He just hops along.  I can use 8-4-3 for anything.  It really is wonderful, whatever it means.

Story Hour with Andrew

Andrew is loving story hour!  He doesn't sing all the songs just yet, but at least he doesn't sit in the circle and scowl at the teacher.  If you will recall the scowl is how Jack rolled through story hour.  Andrew likes to volunteer to pick songs.  Andrew likes the stories, the songs, the crafts, and especially the toys.  Before and after the lesson the children get to play with the toys.  Andrew doesn't spend much time with any of the toys, because he brings every toy to me as he picks it up and says, "Can I play with this one?"  My response is always yes, but he continues to ask with each toy. 
Below he is selecting the song he would like to sing.  He even stood with his precious teacher while everyone sang it.  He was so excited and tried his best to hold in his smile. 

The first week of story hour I was subbing, so Fred took him. (What a great guy!?!  But, we'll save that for another time.)  The first week of story hour is always exciting and it typically includes a bus ride.  Andrew does not like buses, or motorcycles, or lawnmowers, or airplanes, or boats, or really anything that makes noise.  I was nervous about his level of participation, but Fred said he did great.  He even sent me some pictures.  Andrew took his blanket so he, "wouldn't be scared".  Priceless.
He doesn't look too sure of the bus ride here, does he?!?
I think the blanket helped him warm up to the bus.  Two weeks later he is still talking about it.  He must have enjoyed it!!
 This picture just melts my heart...Could we just pause time for a minute?!?

Please note the train shirt.  We wear this every other day.  Yes, every other day.  One might ask why every other day?  I'm glad you asked.  We have two train shirts and they alternate days.  Note the yellow one above and the red one below.  I would have fought this battle with Clayton, but not with number 3.  I am tired people, I am tired.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  Fred is going on a 100 mile bike ride tomorrow.  Yes, 100 miles.  That is a long way.  A really long way.  He is excited!  I say, get to peddaling Mister.
2.  Fred is keeping the boys and I'm getting away for the weekend with these girls (plus one more).  This year has moved several of us to different places, making us farther apart.  You gotta love life long friends.  I don't have many childhood memories where at least one, if not all, of these girls is not involved.   Oh, the stories that will be recalled and told.  Good times.
3.  Clayton's Sunday School teacher is just precious.  We call her and her husband the our Paris grandparents.  She hosts a water party each year for incoming and outgoing students.  Clayton is an outgoing student.  Sniff.  When he got home from the party I told him it might be a good idea to write Mrs. Patsy a thank you note for all she did for them.  He said, "Mom!  It's the 21st century.  Can't I just call her or send her a text?!?"  He will be writing that note this afternoon.
4.  Being the middle child is tough.  Jack did not get to go to the above mentioned party.  He was heart broken.  By heart broken...I mean mad.  I thought we had settled him down, but then Clayton got in and let it slip that they got to eat pizza.  Jack responded through gritted teeth with, "What?!?  Pizza?!?  I had to chicken and rice AND rest while Clayton was eating pizza.  Not fair!"  He was not happy.  Oh well, that's how you develop character, right?  That's what I'm telling myself.  Sigh. 
5.  Andrew does not like the car wash.  Can you tell?!?   I thought maybe it wouldn't be so bad this time, but I was wrong.  Can you see the tears?  Oh, dear.